Nearly three weeks after separate off-field legal issues triggered indefinite suspensions, Fitz Toussaint and Frank Clark are back with their teammates.
Whether that will be the case for the huge season opener in a couple of weeks, however, remains to be seen.
Head coach Brady Hoke confirmed Sunday at the team’s media day that both Toussaint and Clark have been cleared to practice with the Wolverines. The duo had missed the first week of summer camp due to the suspensions.
When asked if either, both or neither of the two would be available for the season opener against Alabama, Hoke wouldn’t allow, at least publicly, what their status for the opening may be.
“I wish I could tell ya,” Hoke said when asked if they will play in the neutral field game against the defending BcS champions.
It’s been widely assumed that both would be suspended for at least the opener because of their arrests last month.
Toussaint, who led all Wolverine running backs in rushing last season, was arrested July 21 and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired. In line to win a starting defensive end job, Clark was charged around the same time as Toussaint with second-degree home invasion. That charge stemmed from the alleged theft of a MacBook Air from a student’s dorm room this past June.
On Nov. 6, 1869, Princeton and Rutgers squared off in the first-ever college football game. Nearly 148 years later, the powers-that-be in the sport are in the beginning stages of commemorating the momentous event.
The National Football Foundation announced in a press release that “[a] group of college football leaders announced plans today to launch a nationwide celebration to commemorate the game’s 150th anniversary.” The group will be headed by Kevin Weiberg, longtime college athletics administrator and former Big 12 Conference commissioner.
There are a baker’s dozen other individuals who will be involved in planning the festivities as part of the committee, including the two current athletic directors of the teams involved in the sport’s first game.
- Todd Berry, executive director, American Football Coaches Association
- Ari Fleischer, president, Ari Fleischer Communications
- Bill Hancock, executive director, College Football Playoff
- Steve Hatchell, president & chief executive officer, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
- Pat Hobbs, director of athletics, Rutgers University
- Chris Howard, president, Robert Morris University
- Mike Kern, associate commissioner, Missouri Valley Football Conference/FCS Managing Director
- Oliver Luck, executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships, NCAA
- Mollie Marcoux Samaan, athletics director, Princeton University
- Larry Scott, commissioner, Pac-12 Conference
- Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner, Mid-American Conference
- Bob Vecchione, executive director, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
- Wright Waters, executive director, Football Bowl Association
“This is a very exciting moment for fans of college football,” Weiberg said in a statement. “Across the country, college football is a deeply ingrained part of life for millions and millions of people. While it’s too soon to know our exact plans, we want to put something together that is big and special, something fans can be proud of. We will work closely with leaders from all divisions of college football to build a national celebration for fans to enjoy.
“No one could have imagined that since the first football game was played on November 6, 1869 that college football would grow to become one of America’s greatest traditions, beloved by tens of millions of fans every year,” said Scott. “At all divisions of play, college football is special and we intend to launch a nationwide celebration to mark the anniversary.”
In the post below this, we noted that Jovani Haskins is officially a member of the West Virginia football program. T.J. Simmons can say the same as well.
After Simmons announced it via social media over this past weekend, WVU has confirmed that the wide receiver has signed a grant-in-aid for the 2017-18 academic year and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Mountaineers. That continuation won’t happen immediately as, after sitting out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws, Simmons will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Mountaineers.
Simmons had decided last week to transfer out of the Alabama football program.
A three-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2016 recruiting class, Simmons was rated as the No. 58 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama.
As a true freshman, Simmons played in 12 games, mainly on special teams. In this year’s annual spring game, the 6-2, 201-pound receiver caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown for the Crimson Tide.
One down, one to go.
Over the weekend, both former Miami tight end Jovani Haskins (HERE) and ex-Alabama wide receiver T.J. Simmons (HERE) indicated on social media that they would be transferring and continuing their collegiate playing careers at West Virginia. Monday, WVU confirmed that the former has signed his grant-in-aid for the 2017-18 academic year.
Haskins will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Beginning with the 2018 season, he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.
A three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2016 recruiting class, the 6-4, 245-pound Haskins was rated as the No. 18 tight end in the country and the No. 10 player at any position in the state of New Jersey. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.
Earlier this month, Haskins opted to transfer from The U in order to “get a fresh start somewhere else.”
Haskins is the third Power Five player to officially transfer to the Mountaineers this offseason, joining former Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield (HERE) and ex-Miami quarterback Jack Allison (HERE).
A little over a month after leaving The Plains, Antwuan Jackson has reportedly settled on a new college football home.
Citing multiple sources familiar with the situation, 247Sports.com is reporting that Jackson has signed with Blinn Community College in Texas. The defensive tackle will play for the JUCO this season, with his eyes set on a return to the FBS level, perhaps as early as December.
On his Twitter account earlier Monday, Jackson hinted at an unspecified development regarding his football future.
In mid-May, Jackson announced his decision to transfer from Auburn. AU blocked him from transferring to a handful of schools he had requested, including Ohio State. It’s believed the Buckeyes have emerged as the favorites to land the lineman when he jumps back to the FBS level.
Jackson was a four-star member of AU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 49 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only three players in the Tigers’ class that year were rated higher.
As a true freshman last season, Jackson took a redshirt.